My oldest child attends Rancho Pico Jr high in Stevenson Ranch, California. Sure I attended all of the open houses and other similar activities, but I missed out on all of those after school adventures "traveling with Mr Johnson" which I could have attended had I planned things better. These are missed opportunities to spend "Quality" time with my child doing something I absolutely love. That is exploring, and in addition to that, exploring with a teacher who shares the love of the outdoors and it's history. Something I have all but abandoned in my "Pursuit of happiness"
As I browse thru Mr Johnson's website www.mrjohnson.org I see all of the after school "Adventures" he's been on with other parents and students and I cant help but wonder what I may have discovered on one of these trips had I taken the time to place the dates on my calendar throughout the semester. Those are opportunities I have squandered. So it is up to me to make this up one way or another to myself and to my family by planning my own adventures in the coming weeks.
The school year is over so I am not sucking up to Mr Johnson in the hopes that I will have some influence on my childs grade (like that would even happen). But to let Mr Johnson know that he is one of those educators that makes a difference in people's lives. It is a rare find to have an educator such as him with his unique manner in which he teaches and his love of history both local and the world. He has had a profound positive impact on my child and his students in general. I admire his teaching style and most of his curriculum.
When I look back on my own life there have been people along the way that have helped me become who I am today. A couple were teachers. Unfortunately a few educators simply go through the motions, collect their paychecks, and call it a day. Mr Johnson is definitely not in this category.
We live in a valley full of it's own rich history (Santa Clarita Historical Society), we need to dig deeper to appreciate what is right here in our own backyard here in Santa Clarita, California. Make it a point to visit Mr Johnson's personal website http://www.mrjohnson.org/ whether you have a student or not. It is a wealth of local historical information and activities. If you do have a student that is enrolling in 7th grade this coming year be sure to get involved and take advantage of "traveling with Mr Johnson". Plan and make the time to share these learning experiences with your child and learn more about the person who is helping shape your children's views of history. Don't make the same mistake I did.
Note to Mr Johnson, You have rekindle the adventurer I once was as a child and young adult, and I hope to pass this on to my children. Thank you, for reminding me of this, may you continue to be an adventurer and never lose sight of that voyage....